around the frame mar 2017 – our experiences


From Tomie de Pola’s Things to Make and Do for Valentine’s Day

From Tomie de Pola’s Things to Make and Do for Valentine’s Day


  I remember old-fashioned Valentine’s Day cards.

I worked as a school nurse from 1976 to 1988 and the teachers always amazed me at their thinking/ planning ahead for holidays and special occasions like Valentine’s Day.  (I never did master that!) 

As a young charge nurse –no matter what shift –I arrived, got the report and started right in getting everything done right up to change of shift, gave my report and THEN (most of the time) had time to sit and finish writing charts.

I guess I never did find time to look and plan ahead.  It’s more like: here it comes –pfft –there it goes!  



Nancyann (Dec. ‘16) adds, “Thanks for the valentines!”


Pvt. Frank Ridenoure

Pvt. Frank Ridenoure


I enjoyed reading your Feb. ‘17 story, “My Father’s Daughter,” seeing a picture of your dad and reading about your early life.  (I can see you in your father’s face to some degree.) I can just imagine you seeing this stranger standing there, not knowing he was your father.

So sad you have your father’s knee problem. (Sure hope it improves.)  Of course, today we have far more choices in treatments and they’re constantly changing.  Hope you and your doctors find a solution.


Dottie (Dec. ‘16) adds,”Tomorrow, I play pickleball. Last week I missed part of the day’s activities due to some home health care I am involved in.  I sure feel gratitude when I see what my patients have to endure.”


Hi Fritzie, 

So many thoughts after enjoying reading February 2017’s Ninepatch.  I really related to your story about your father being in WWII in the Pacific. My father was also in the Pacific theater and my mother always said that I didn’t want anything to do with him when he first got back. 

I enjoy my book club and thought it was great to read about the prison book club.  I also enjoyed reading about some of the books that others are reading.  Our club’s upcoming book is The Good Girl.  I haven’t started it yet, but am looking forward to reading it. 


Chantal (Feb. ‘17) adds, “My father wrote many letters home during the war and I had a late aunt that actually saved those letters from her brother. Upon her death, my cousin gave them to me. Some were written even before he and my mother were married.”



We really haven’t had much of a winter here just north of Niagara Falls. In fact, we’ve seldom seen snow, and my gladiolas and columbine have already started sending up shoots. Of course, they may freeze and fail but, for now, it’s a great sign.

I’m glad of the mild winter because I’ve chosen not to take our usual winter time Caribbean vacation so I can save to buy a different car.

Instead, Dan and I may take a week this summer to head up north to Algonquin Park and possibly do some kayaking, which would thrill me because I spent many a childhood summer in the park and miss the northern woods.

Also, I saw a robin last week, and have been hearing more and more birds on the warmer days. 



Lynn D. (Dec. ‘15) “So glad that I’ve only had to shovel once or twice. I’m getting too darned old for that sort of thing and my neighbor’s boys show no interest in shoveling for money like kids used to.”



Palma (Feb. ‘17) gets a birthday cupcake and candle from a neighbor

Palma (Feb. ‘17) gets a birthday cupcake and candle from a neighbor


Dear St. Frances,

Winter is loosening its grip. Geese flew low over the house today, heading for the neighbors’ pond out behind us. Blue jays were fussy, a lot of finches were feuding, and some crows were giving their opinions on something, too.

All the birds who have flown in and eaten at the feeders are keeping their body fat up to par. As long as the bears stay away from the feeders, I’m happy, the

birds are happy, the chickens are ecstatic.

Take care, keep an eye on the weather, and t’will catch you next time.




Malaina (Feb. ‘17) adds, “There’s always something going on here on the mountain.”


Machu Pichu (

Machu Pichu (

Dear Francabirthdaycard,

You asked how I celebrated my birthday. I went on a hike to Torrey Pines. I walked down the bluff and onto the beach. (It’s one of my favorite hikes.)

You asked what I would do if I chose something wild to celebrate the year. I plan to hike the ancient Inca trail with my younger son. We’ll spend 3 nights and 4 days, climbing the mountain up to 13,000 feet. We’ll end at Machu Pichu, which is sometimes called the “Lost City of the Incas” in Peru.

I am in training for this epic adventure. I’ve joined the Y and am improving my stamina. 

  <3 Love and peace,


Liz/Moascar (Feb. ‘16) adds, “I loved your Jan. ‘17 Mid-month Reflection, ‘The Shirt.’ Unusually colored plaid shirts are very appealing to me –they feel like home. I particularly like the electric blue ones. I don’t have this shade, but I do have a red plaid shirt. It’s very comforting to wear on cold winter days in Southern California!”



Dear Frances,

Since I have been on my own and retired, I have more time to think about myself and life.

I believe the Lord has a plan for our lives. A big plan, for big changes in my life–and many little ones –to help me cope with life, one day at a time.

I am sure we all have routines, too. They help me move through my day.


LindaSue (Feb. ‘17) adds, “We did get clobbered with snow and storming for a while this winter. I missed my walks when I was stuck inside.”


Dear Frances,

  My husband of 27 years passed away in a beautiful hospice on Jan. 20 this year. 

My daughter and his daughter have been very, very loving and helpful.  He was cremated and a Sufi service will be held sometime in February. 

I cannot write much more at this time.

  Love to you,


Louise (Jan. ‘17) says, “I have been very confused lately and not very verbal.” 


Hey Fritzie,

You mentioned listening to Callander Square, one of Anne Perry’s audio books.

I have read most of Anne Perry’s Christmas books. Just two left to read: A Christmas Grace and A Christmas Odyssey. Going to “save them” for a time when I have nothing else to read or have nothing to do.   Our last cat, Mr. Gray, is doing well.  I am so glad.  I pray he will stay healthy.  I love that cat.  

I have decided if anything happens to him, and I want another cat, I will go to one of the no-kill shelters and foster an older animal.  Or, maybe the Humane Society would have an older cat that is due to be put to sleep. I feel I am too old to start with a new kitten.

Bob just left for the men’s breakfast at church.  I think I will fix myself a scrambled egg, cottage cheese and a piece of toast.  

Will talk to you later.


Patricia (Feb. ‘17) adds, “Been pretty cold here.  (That is okay, it is February after all.)  Next month, we will be blessed with spring. So glad.”  


Hello, Frances:

We are still in South Carolina and have already visited many places. Bill and I took the day off from traveling and exploring. Thank goodness –I need the rest! (We both do.)

This year, my husband and I will be blessed again with travel opportunities. His father wants us to go to Israel with him later this year. (More adventures!)

I’m nervous about it, as it is the Middle East. We’ll see as the

months progress. It would be a shorter trip of 10 days.

Best of the day to you,


Linda Rosenthal (Feb. ‘17) adds, “My little deciduous bonsai trees are cautiously showing some buds, I think of early spring possibilities!”


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